On 24 Sept 2019, Google released a new broad core algorithm update called the ‘September 2019 Core Update’.
The company confirmed that the update has gone live and is expected to fully roll out over the next few days after its launch.
Why This is Important
Broad core algorithm updates are considered major updates to Google’s search algorithm, and they often result in ranking changes (both good and bad) for many websites.
Google has reiterated that these ‘broad’ core updates do not target one specific thing about website performance. Rather, they’re a refinement of its search algorithm and overall system, with the goal of providing better search results for users. This, in turn, naturally leads to ranking changes for affected websites.
If you’re a webmaster or website owner, then you should keep a close eye on your website rankings these coming several weeks.
What Google Recommends You Do
Google published official guidance for its core updates last month, and they again referred everyone back to this guide when they announced this new core update.
Their guide recommends all webmasters and website owners to:
- Focus on content – Make sure your content is high quality, relevant, and helpful to users. The better your content is, the more likely your website will rank well.
- Ask the right questions – Is your content serving your users well? Is it the type of content that would make them choose your website over another? If you were your user, would you go to your own website? Scrutinise your website honestly and make the right changes.
- Familiarise yourself with E-A-T – E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, which are major factors in how Google evaluates websites. The better you meet these qualities, the more likely your website will rank well. (Here’s a good article about E-A-T if you want to find out more.)
We’ve covered Google’s recommendations comprehensively before, and you can read more about it here.
Keep an Eye on Your Site
Because broad updates don’t target a specific thing or industry, nobody really knows how it will affect different sites.
Like in past core updates, some websites will see massive ranking changes (big gains or drops), while others will see minimal differences. Others might not even be affected at all.
That’s why it’s important to monitor your rankings closely over the next several weeks. The more you pay attention to your site’s performance, the earlier you adapt to any ranking changes.
What to Do If Your Website is Affected
If you notice any big changes to your site rankings, then you need to reassess your SEO campaign and act accordingly.
If your website rankings have dropped significantly, then Google has likely deemed your website to be not as relevant or helpful to users. We recommend doing a complete audit of your site to identify the best improvements you can make, especially when it comes to your site’s content, design, and accessibility.
If your website has jumped up in rankings, that’s great! But don’t stop there. Try to understand why Google has rewarded your site with higher rankings and use those insights to keep improving your website so you can maintain your rankings.
Remember: The point is to always be moving in the right direction.